With so many mountains and hillside and ocean cliffs in Wine County, there are endless possibilities to catch a Sonoma/Napa sunset over supper. Here are five of the best settings to stake out.
It’s a bit of a drive, but the stunning views are well worth the trip at this Cal-cuisine favorite. Its bluff location delivers unparalleled views overlooking the mouth of the Russian River where it enters the Pacific Ocean (keep your eyes peeled for seals and whales). Bites include wasabi tobiko oysters, Petaluma duck confit egg rolls, sea bass with pomegranates and beets, and applewood-smoked filet mignon slathered in Pt. Reyes bleu cheese. // 11048 Hwy 1, Jenner
The Michelin Star restaurant always wows, thanks to chef Robert Curry’s Cal-Med cuisine and an enormous wine list. It’s hard to resist the orange star anise glazed Liberty Farm duck with miso sweet potatoes and Tokyo turnips, or sweetbreads roulade with ginger poached pear, almond milk, cocoa, and licorice. Don't get so distracted by the food that you neglect to soak in the spectacular views from the terrace, which spans the resort gardens, surrounding vineyards, and Napa Valley beyond. // 180 Rutherford Hill Rd, Rutherford
This Culinary Institute of America-run fine dining/comfort food establishment is the ultimate hidden gem. Pros know that the best seat in the house is on the beautifully landscaped entry patio, which looks across to vineyards and mountains that become saturated with color as the sun goes down. Start with braised Five Dot Ranch meatballs paired with pan-fried crostini, poached farm egg and pickled radish, then move on to California game hen and dumplings with ricotta gnocchi, Brussels sprouts, bacon, and chestnuts. // 2555 Main St, St Helena
This hole-in-the-wall joint takes fish and chips to the next level, using tasty rock cod caught in the bay just outside the seaside shanty’s door, then fried up crisp and light and meaty. Grab a seat on the teeny patio overlooking the bay, and settle in for a feast of just-shucked oysters, thick and rich clam chowder, a local salmon burger, and fried prawns and scallops served in a paper lined plastic basket. At sunset, the water glitters gold and red. // 1445 Hwy 1, Bodega Bay
It comes but once a year (July 18, to be exact), but the new al fresco Sunset Supper at Vista Point is well worth planning in advance to make sure you snag a ticket. Act fast, since the mountaintop salon is ultra-intimate, and the $200 seats go quickly. Vista Point is the highest hilltop on the 1,200-acre estate, giving the the multi-course ultra-luxe meal a sunset backdrop of Alexander Valley’s hills and vineyards. // 1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg